What are the eligibility criteria for SMEs?
- A consortium or a single SME can apply
- Must all be for-profit going concerns
- Must be legally registered in an EU member state or ‘associated Horizon 2020’ country
- Any other partners, such as a university, do not have to be in the EU or an associated country.
Does this sound like your company?
You could be benefitting from international support, you just need to apply.
This is the different type of ‘phased’ support, that doesn’t just end with a cheque.
The different phases of SME instrument support:
Phase 1: (Optional) Feasibility Phase
- Aim: “exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialize.” Eg: market studies, risk assessment.
- What it’s worth: 50,000 Euro per project
- Project length: approximately 6 months
- End result: SMEs can apply for Phase 2 funding if the feasibility study conclusions support continued development
Phase 2: Innovation Project
- Aim: “ innovation projects underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan (potentially elaborated and partially funded through phase 1 of the SME Instrument).” Eg: pilot lines development, miniaturisation, prototyping (not an exhaustive list)
- What it’s worth: between 500,000 and 2.5million euro. 70% eligible costs included.
- Project length:12 to 24 months
- End result: either a ‘commercialization strategy’ or a new service, product or process that’s read to face the competition.
Phase 3: Commercialisation
- Aim: “With the view of facilitating the commercial exploitation of the innovation activities resulting from phase 1 or phase 2,…” eg: support for further developing investment readiness, assistance in applying for further EU risk finance, and a range of other innovation support activities and services offered via the Enterprise Europe Network.”
- What it’s worth: Wherever you take it!
Innovation and Business Development Coaching is also freely available during the first two phases. It aims to support SMEs to make the most of their ‘innovation capacity, match up the innovation project with business strategy and make the best ‘commercial impact’ with an eye on the long game.